Scammers Preying on Messaging App Telegram to Steal Toncoin

Following the launch of Telegram on the Open Network (TON) blockchain, bad players have been seen looming on the platform to steal Toncoin from the token holders. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky uncovered the news concerning the ongoing suspicious activities on Telegram.

The security team noted that the criminals employed advanced techniques to drain measurable Toncoin tokens from the global Telegram users. The Kaspersky team regretted that the criminals shifted their focus to Telegram in November last year after Ton attained the desired popularity.

Hackers Exploit Telegram to Drain Toncoin

Driven by the desire to attain financial gains, the bad players have been actively targeting to steal from the messaging application and TON network. Kaspersky lamented that criminals devised various strategies to devise the Telegram users. 

Firstly, criminals have been promoting referral schemes that promise Telegram users high returns. To attract a large audience to the suspicious referral system, criminals are seen sharing links to their contacts and friends on the messaging app. 

Several Telegram users have unknowingly fallen for the scammer’s trap, losing substantial TON tokens. Besides sharing the suspicious link, Kaspersky observed that the criminal had been hyping a Telegram bot for storing crypto assets and links to their Web3 wallets. 

Also, the scammers instructed the Telegram users to acquire more Toncoin through the official Telegram bot, peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms, and crypto exchanges, purporting that the purchase would boost their credibility scores and add an extra layer of security. 

Rise of Crypto Scam

The Kaspersky team noted that the criminals enticed the Telegram users to purchase boosters through a separate bot. After completing these processes, the scammers assured the Telegram users that they will start earning money from the platform. 

The security expert for Kaspersky regretted that after the victims purchased the booster, the criminal gained unauthorized access to the user account. This implies that the final steps for acquiring the booster allowed scammers to steal customers’ funds.

The probing team stated that the boosters, including bikes, trains, planes, and rockets, varied in cost. These boosters were priced between 5 to 500 Toncoins. The Kaspersky team noted that the Telegram users who purchased the booster were urged to register for the referral program and invited friends to earn rewards. 

The security experts regretted that the Telegram user registered for the referral program lost $2 to $2700 in the ponzi scheme. A review of the suspicious referral program demonstrated that the link shared with Telegram users and their friends consisted of numerous instructions. The referral links shared by the scammers were in English and Russian versions. 

Investors Advised to Avoid Quick Wealth

According to Kaspersky, the scammers urged the users to invite more than five referrals to start earning rewards. Initially, the criminals had assured the customers of considerable returns before completing the earning program. 

This earning will be distributed in two primary approaches, including a fixed payment of 25 TON for every invite. Consecutively, the scammer promised the Telegram users that they would earn a commission per the number of boosters purchased.

A statement from the lead content strategist at Kaspersky, Olga Svistunova, described the boosters as an effective tool for earning from their crypto investments. The executive observed the similarity of the booster with those used in online games that allow the player to earn additional rewards.

The official noted that in the Telegram case, the pyramid scheme allows the participants to become partners instead of freeloaders. In this case, all the Telegram users registered for the referral program lost all their investments.

Upon contacting the Kaspersky team to enquire about the number of customers affected by the pyramid scheme, the security team vows to provide the final investigation report. The Kaspersky warned investors to be hyper-vigilant when making investments that promise high yields. 

Also, the investors are urged to conduct their due diligence and avoid quick wealth. The probing team advised the Telegram team to implement adequate security measures to shield users from scams and fraudulent schemes.

Editorial credit: nikkimeel /

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